2 men charged federally with placing credit card skimmers on area gas pumps
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio
Yasmany Ulacia Garcia, 34, and Luis Ernesto Vigil Ochoa, 29, were arrested by police officers on Dec. 8 in Dayton. Their case was unsealed today.
According to the criminal complaint filed against them, the two placed credit card skimmers at gas pumps in Loveland, Ohio, on multiple occasions in April 2022.
It is alleged Garcia and Ochoa then stole credit card information via the skimmers and used that information to purchase gift cards at area stores.
For example, surveillance video in April 2022 shows the two defendants spending a significant amount of time at self-checkout registers purchasing gift cards and other merchandise at the Home Depot stores in Mason, Hamilton, Lebanon, West Chester, Beechmont and Milford, Ohio, and Cold Spring, Kentucky. Similar video surveillance shows Garcia and Ochoa allegedly using stolen credit card information to purchase gift cards at the Target in Mason, Ohio.
Garcia and Ochoa were fugitives for approximately seven months before they returned to the Southern District of Ohio and were encountered by law enforcement last week.
Agents learned Garcia and Ochoa were staying at a hotel on Miller Lane in Dayton, Ohio, and followed the defendants to four Home Depot stores and two Target stores in the greater Dayton area.
Agents discovered multiple gift cards and a fraudulent American Express card in their vehicle. During a subsequent search of the hotel room being used by Garcia and Ochoa, agents discovered a magnetic strip reader/writer and an illicit skimming device.
According to records from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, both Garcia and Ochoa were ordered removed from the United States in 2019.
Knowingly possessing a skimmer device with the intent to defraud is a federal crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, announced the charges. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Landry is representing the United States in this case, and it was investigated by the United States Secret Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office and Loveland Police Department.
A criminal complaint merely contains allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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Updated December 15, 2022